OK, this is a nearly textbook cozy - interesting characters, rich setting, wine trivia, solid plot. At times, however, it seems nearly frantic to dot every i and cross all the t's. Certainly worth reading, especially if you have an interest in wines and vineyards - it is a promising debut. You will have to suspend your disbelief that all the events in the book occurred in a three day period, though. ;)
Picture-perfect cozy mystery - almost too perfect. I didn't care for the plot too much, as the characters' actions were implausible and all were written incredibly flat. But, what can you expect from a cozy mystery?
The wine knowledge was extremely helpful and the recipes sounded absolutely delicious. Probably the information about wine, wine-making, and wine pairings are what drove me to finish the story. I'd recommend this to only the most die-hard cozy mystery fans who love wine.
This was a great book! It's the first of a series. The herione is a bit ditzy, keeps stumbling into trouble. With two love interests it will be interesting to see what happens in the next book. Plus Michele Scott is a very nice lady. Met her at the store.
This fast paced mystery kept me guessing all the way to the end. It is such a tangled web that no one is truly innocent. My only complaint is that Derek seems a little too naive perhaps. I enjoyed learning about wines and reading about the delicious foods to pair with them. It made me so hungry and wanting a beautiful rich glass of wine!! I'll definitely be seeking out other books in this series.
Nicely done, this cozy mystery has just enough life and modern touches to keep it moving. The wine commentaries are well done as are some of the recipes. The major faux pas was when a recipe called for a package of Lawry's Taco Seasoning. Anyone making good food to go with good wine would use fresh seasonings or mix their own. Other than that the nuttiness of the characters surrounding the heroine in Napa Valley was charming and reminded me a bit of Falcon Crest.
This was the first book I've read by this author, and I found it to be a quick, enjoyable read. The main character was not as engaging as I would have hoped, but I am still planning to continue with the series to see how the characters develop. I do enjoy the wine and food pairings included in the book.
Nikki Sands, the main character, lands a job at a popular winery. Soon after, murders follow. Of course, being an out-of-work actress who formally played a detective on a short lived TV series, she decides to do some sleuthing herself.
This is a cute book with likeable characters, a good plot, and a LOT of wine information. If you're not much of a wino, you may find youself skipping over some wine-specific details. Fortunately for me, I love wine & hung on to every word.
Overall, this is a perfect cozy mystery, will do for winos what the Coffeehouse Mysteries by Cloe Coyle do for coffee lovers.
Book 1 in the Wine Lover's Mysteries. Nikki, a waitress and aspiring actress in L.A., gets the break of a lifetime when a wealthy and handsome vineyard owner, Derek, offers her a job in Napa valley. Surrounded by a lovely landscape and wonderful wine it's almost too good to be true. Until Nikki stumbles across two murders. Her suspect list grows long when she starts to meet Derek's crazy family and tries to put the pieces of the puzzle together to solve the mystery. This was very entertaining and just a wonderful book for a summer read.
Reviewer: Dawn Dowdle "mystery lover" (Manassas, VA USA):"When Nikki Sands accidentally spills a drink on a nasty bimbo she was serving at her waitress job, she has no idea how it is going to change her life. The bimbo starts making a scene so Nikki quits. While getting a drink across the street, in walks the bimbo's date, the hunk. He buys her dinner. He was so impressed with her wine knowledge at the restaurant, so he has her order the wine for their dinner.
After dinner he offers her a job at Maleveaux Estates, a Napa Valley winery. He is Derek Maleveaux. Having nothing to lose, she flies with him to his winery to look into this job.
As Nikki is settling in at the guest cottage, she notices something strange outside. When she goes outside to check it out, she finds the murdered corpse of Gabriel Asant, Derek's winemaker and friend.
Nikki, a wannabe actress, once played a detective on TV, so she decides to do some investigating. The police are interested in Derek. She doesn't believe he did it.
Between the rival winery, Derek's strange family, and Gabriel's women, Nikki has plenty of people to investigate. But can she do that without becoming a victim herself?
This is a great first book in a new series. The characters are wonderful and the setting is delightful. I'm not a wine drinker, but the information about wine and its making is not overpowering. The author has blended it in well with the mystery. I found myself laughing out loud. It is a very fast, enjoyable read."
Anyone who knows me, knows I do not like cozies. After reading my preferred genre of hard core police procedurals, murderers, serial killers, etc,. asking me to read a cozy is like offering me ONE vanilla wafer for dessert.
Nikki Sands is an actress, ok, she wants to be an actress. Right now she's working as a waitress, contemplating her life's choices. A run in with "The Bimbo" more or less causes the loss of that job. When "The Bimbo's" date, Derek Malveaux, winds up offering her a job at his winery, she agrees to go with him to check it out.
Note: The interaction between Nikki and the Bimbo had me in stitches!
On her first day at the winery, she discovers the murdered body of the little old winemaker.
Nikki is smart, she's sassy, and no one's fool. She, however, does need to learn that playing a detective on a TV show or that having an aunt who actually is a real-life detective or the fact that she has read Nancy Drew books do not make her a good detective. She tends to just jump right in and go for the gold!
There are plenty of suspects with all kinds of motives who might have wanted the winemaker dead. And Nikki is determined to ferret the killer out. Of course, the more she sticks her nose into things, the more danger she's in.
It's a very nice little mystery with twists and turns that actually surprised me. I really liked Nikki and was rooting for her all the way. Derek is a nice foil to her humorous way of looking at things. I like the attraction between them.
There is the evil step-mother, a vicious ex-wife, a younger step-brother and his life partner, and the assorted other winery owners who may or may not have a reason to kill. And let's not forget the news reporter who wants Derek for herself.
If someone had told me a week ago I would actually read a cozy that I enjoyed, I'd have thought they were drunk. The only negative I have is all those recipes interwoven every chapter or two. I don't cook with wine, I don't even drink wine, so I skipped through those.
My thanks to the author and Wordsmith Publicity who furnished a digital copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.